School: University of Georgia
Platform: Sink or Swim: No Limb-itations
Talent: Vocal- Beyonces version of Ave Maria
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Educational goals: To graduate from The University of Georgia with a Bachelors degree in Psychology, and obtain a Masters degree from The Georgia Institute of Technology for Orthotics & Prosthetics.
Career Aspirations: To own and operate an Orthotics & Prosthetics practice.
Family: Mom and dad -- Denise and Tracy Galster. younger sister -- Grace
Favorite restaurant: Ike and Janes (hole in the wall breakfast/brunch spot in Athens)
Favorite movies: "The Gift," "The Sound of Music," "Burlesque" and "Footloose"
Favorite book: "Something Borrowed" and "Something Blue" by Emily Griffen, and any James Patterson book.
Favorite TV shows: "Smash" and "Revenge"
Have you competed in Miss Georgia before? Yes, I competed as a teen. In 2007 I was Miss Troup County's Outstanding Teen, and was Miss Atlanta's Outstanding Teen 2008. I am looking forward to pageant week as a "Miss Contestant" this time. It wasn't until I was away from the Miss America Organization for a few years that I realized the people I had been fortunate enough to work with and be around were actually a driving force behind the type of person I was becoming and who I aspired to be! I have reconnected with so many incredible ladies from all over our state, many of whom I have stayed in contact with since 2007 and will always remain friends with. It is wonderful to be around others who are service oriented and have similar goals and aspirations.
Why is your platform special to you? Growing up a water baby, with parents who loved the salt water, fishing and scuba diving, it was inevitable I would have a connection with the water at an early age. I use the American Red Cross Program "Long Fellow's W.H.A.L.E. Tales" to provide simple basic water safety to children in elementary schools and The Boys and Girls Clubs. My Uncle Mike is an Orthotist, who has filled me with stories of healing and hope that he has experienced over the years on mission trips in just about every region of the world. I have known for a very long time that my heart was tugging at me to venture in the field of orthotics & prosthetics, and I can now see how to blend my two passions into a life-long career. You see, swimming uses all of the major muscle groups, and water provides twelve times the resistance of air which benefits the muscle strength of an amputated area. Medical technology is so exciting! In the past, for recent amputees, it could have taken weeks to fit someone for a prosthetic device. Now, it may only take hours, enabling the world of amputees a more adaptable life style. Imagine how beneficial this will be in times of natural disasters! I just want to make a difference and whether in the water or after a disaster, I know I can.
What advice would you like to share with teen girls who are struggling with school? It may sound cliche', but don't ever give up on yourself and what you dream for the future. Though it is not always easy, do everything you can to constantly build up your self-confidence in order to remain true to who you are. For me, that meant I had to try to align myself with like minded friends and people who encouraged me. It's not easy. I also learned never be afraid to ask for help. If you don't have a strong family unit then remember your teachers, church and school counselors are trained to help and give advice.
How would you describe your personal style? I love fashion and love to be all over the new trends! I would say my style is a cross between a classy Boho and edgy high fashion! I love to dress differently than the norm, and love stealing ideas from runway shows! SO what... if it's a little out there?!
How do you stay fit? Generally I like being a healthy person. I was a competitive swimmer for 12 years so. Swimming has always been my passion and is the easiest way for me to stay in shape. What better way to get ready for the swim suit competition than training in a swim suit?!
What's your favorite healthy meal and what are your favorite treats? I love eating any kind of seafood (grilled or broiled) and I eat healthy sushi, (i.e. no cream cheese or fried tempura) at least two or three times a week. I usually fill up on fruit and I have a water bottle at all times. Sadly, I am not really a salad eater and peanut butter is my down fall. I can actually eat an entire jar in one sitting if I don't watch myself.
What stresses you out and how do cope with the stress in your life? When I feel like I have deviated from my planned path. I just have to stop, take a deep breath and remind myself that everything happens for a reason. If that doesn't seem to be doing the trick, then I go swim laps at the pool. The water relaxes me, helps me think and helps me shake off any tension.